• Meat may be the problem
    May 18,2013

    Meat may be the problem

    A review of 12,000 papers on climate change, in the May 15 issue of “Environmental Research Letters”, found that 97 percent of scientistsattribute climate change to human activities. Although we’re unlikely toreverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing ourdriving, energy use, and meat consumption.

    Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meatconsumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may becloser to 50 percent.

    Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is generated by burningforests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels toconfine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals. The much more damagingmethane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattleand from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

    Each of us has the power to reduce the devastating effects of climatechange every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety ofsoy-based lunch meats, hotdogs, veggie burgers and soy and nut-baseddairy products, as well as an ample selection of vegetables, fruits,grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips areat www.livevegan.org.

    Ben Toole


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